There was a minute in which there was a hint of derby crackling. That was when Mats Hummels had just sunk a massive header into the Schalke goal, and when he stopped meaningfully on the spot. Erling Haaland, always on the move at high emotional speeds, ran towards the goalscorer, then the two of them roared their enthusiasm into each other’s distorted faces that the aerosols were just flying. For a moment you could have thought it was Derby.
Otherwise, however, the otherwise over-the-top game of games dwindled to a sober Bundesliga working day. Only 300 spectators were allowed by the health department, so there was little to cheer and cheer on in the stands. In the end it was 3-0 for Borussia Dortmund against arch rivals Schalke. In a few minutes, more precisely: between the 55th and 61st minute, the game was decided when Manuel Akanji, who had returned from his corona infection, scored 1-0 and then Erling Haaland after a nice combination with Jadon Sancho the 2 : Had scored 0.
At the latest then it became clear why the old Ruhr rival has been waiting for a win for 21 games. Like a brave amateur team, Schalke had defended one half, but it wasn’t enough for more. And if you looked at the statistics that ended with zero chances to score in 90 minutes for Schalke, you swore that scoring goals for this barely existing offensive could remain difficult the whole season, even against the smaller caliber of the league.
Old doubts are breaking up again at BVB
For Mats Hummels personally, the goal to 3-0 meant something, although the game seemed to be decided by then. After all, Dortmund’s substitute captain knows the folklore of the derby, and it was actually the first time that he scored a goal against Schalke. “The Derby goal was really something that was high on my personal bucket list,” he said. In the Hummels generation, bucket list means something like: things that you still want to tick off in life. Hummels was obviously able to tick off the fact that the framework of the games is currently not really great.
Because of the obvious weakness of Schalke, no one at Dortmund really knew how high the topic of “reparation” should hang after the disastrous Champions League performance at Lazio Rome last Tuesday. Licensed player boss Sebastian Kehl expressly affirmed that the derby had reconciled the pitiful 3-1 in Rome, but at the same time one noticed Kehl’s uncertainty that had already generated the 2-0 defeat at FC Augsburg. In Dortmund, old doubts had reopened in the last few days – including doubts about coach Lucien Favre, who has a remarkably high score in his almost two and a half years at BVB, but is always criticized after slips like the one against Lazio.
Favre has a stigma attached to it
Especially in important games, the team under the leadership of the Swiss often seems wait-and-see, passive, not too boastful and self-confident. This stigma now clearly attaches to Favre. And it seems to be a reflection of the mentality of the BVB coach. The goading and loud trumpeting are certainly not Favre’s most noticeable qualities.
The relatively easy 3-0 win against Schalke initially drove away the frown; Until next time. On Wednesday, BVB is now expecting Zenit Saint Petersburg, which lost 2-1 at home to Club Bruges in the first round of the Champions League.
“… you have to switch on Pro Sieben at 8:15 pm”
Favre had made several changes against Schalke, some interesting ones. Mats Hummels reported after the game that they had spoken intensively with the coach about the return to the back four in defense, which was then completed. “It was clear that we needed an offensive player more, against a tight defense,” said Hummels, who on the other hand is known to have been more supportive of the move to the back three some time ago.
A system that Favre does not favor per se, but which was apparently recommended to him by the team management and leading players. In addition, Favre switched back to the actual goalkeeper Roman Bürki (after substitute Marvin Hitz had played three times) and renounced regular players such as Marco Reus, Axel Witsel and the young Jude Bellingham. “We have competition here, just like everyone else has competition, just like you and me,” Favre reacted almost poisonously for his circumstances when asked about it.
Mats Hummels was obviously in a donor mood that evening and wanted to protect Favre a little. “Here in Dortmund we are spoiled by seven years of press conferences with Kloppo,” said Hummels, twice champion under Jürgen Klopp, “because these weren’t actually press conferences, but late nights shows.” Favre is more withdrawn, he doesn’t reveal much. “If you want to be entertained, you have to tune in to Pro Sieben at 8:15 pm.” On Saturday evening at a quarter past eight an episode of the feature film series “Star Wars” was shown. From Luke Skywalker to Lucien Favre, it is truly half a galaxy.